Same Sex Marriage
The United States Supreme Court delivered an landmark opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015, which declared that same sex marriages were valid nationwide. This ruling provided the ability of same sex couples to marry in Arizona and throughout the country, regardless of any prior state restrictions. Along with the equality that the ruling offered to all same sex couples, the ruling also provided protection in the form of marital rights which extend throughout the entirety of the marriage. The right of same sex couples to marry also ensures that their rights will be protected if the marriage ends in divorce. If you are facing a same sex divorce and have questions regarding the division of assets or child custody issues, do not hesitate to contact an experienced family law attorney.
Same Sex Marriage and Divorce
While the Supreme Court ruled that all same sex couples can get married if they so choose, this ruling also technically validated same sex divorce at the same time. Same sex couples are burdened by the same relationship hardships that heterosexual couples face. Thanks to the recent Supreme Court decision, not only can same sex couples get married, but they are also entitled to the same right to divorce when the relationship cannot be continued. Along with the legal separation, divorce also includes the protection of property rights. Same sex couples were not previously entitled to the protections of marriage (which includes healthcare coverage, life insurance coverage, and other basic rights), and were additionally always not entitled to an equitable division of property or joint custody of children.
Arizona recognizes community property rights for same sex marriage, which offers a fair distribution of assets acquired during the marriage. Many same sex couples may have been married for years in a different state which recognized same sex marriage earlier than the state of Arizona.
The length of the marriage could make a direct impact on items such as spousal support, child support, or child custody. Therefore, it is important to disclose when your marriage was first legalized, regardless where this occurred. Since community property rights extend only from the marriage, it is important to determine when your marriage was first legalized, which will be the time when community property rights first attach. Any property acquisition which is found to occur outside of the marriage will be considered separate property and will not be subject to division during divorce proceedings. Therefore, it is important to contact an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible once the divorce proceedings begin. An attorney will assist you in working through issues stemming from same sex marriage and divorce, including when and where the marriage was legalized.
Viles Law Firm | Phoenix, Arizona Divorce Lawyer
If you have questions regarding your rights in a same sex marriage or are going through the process of a same sex divorce, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of the Viles Law Firm. Our firm has over 18 years of experience and will work closely with you to ensure you receive what you deserve after a divorce. Contact our Phoenix, Arizona office today for your initial free consultation.